I Fell in Love with Writing. Again.

I love my life. Because I write for a living, and writing is my passion. Sometimes I write good stuff, and sometimes crap I’m not proud of.

I fell in love with writing.jpg

Whatever I write though, I edit. People say crisp sentences are strong, and have a stronger impact in the reader. And that’s why I taught myself to “kill my darlings.”

And during one of my self-editing sessions, I fell in love with the language all over again. Because I learnt an important lesson: Longer sentences can be strong too.

I had this sentence.

Writing is one thing technology can’t conquer, because writing is human.

My internal editor went berserk, and we ended up with this.

Writing is human, and technology can never conquer it.

At first, both sentences made perfect sense to me. And then I read and re-read them aloud. And that’s when it hit me.

Everything about these statements was different.

Writing is one thing technology can’t conquer, because writing is human.

The sentence starts with “writing”. That says writing is important. And then it says why writing is important. Because it’s the ‘one thing technology can’t conquer.’

It’s ‘the one thing.’ That’s to say, writing is beyond all things technology can conquer. We acknowledge the power of technology, but declare writing is more powerful. And why is writing so powerful? Because, ‘writing is human’.

When you connect writing with being human, it’s clear that technology isn’t. It’s emphasising the obvious. But at the end, writing seems in the better light, because we can relate to it as human — that it’s the one thing unhuman technology will never conquer.

There’s emotion in this sentence. There’s human.

And then there’s this.

Writing is human, and technology can never conquer it.

The sentence, again, starts with writing. But, instead of a period there’s a comma — a pause as if we’re waiting for something important — and then comes the phrase, ‘and technology can never conquer it.’

I read this line, and realised: I had combined writing and human in one phrase, and added technology in the immediate next. It had deteriorated the power of writing which was evident in the previous version. The emphasis, now, had shifted to the word “technology.” But as a reader, I’d be reading out ‘technology can never conquer it,’ in just one breath — not a breath-taking line.

I had confined the most important part of the sentence to the first line, and made it sound bland. With the comma, I had brushed aside the human element in writing, and focussed on technology instead. And that had made the whole sentence more of an observation than an emotion.

Sometimes, we say things in an impulse, in an emotion. And sometimes, this spontaneity needs much editing before anyone sees it. But in some odd cases, we just over-edit. That’s what happened to me.

I wrote, I rewrote, I read, and re-read my words. And when I saw the difference, I felt a rushing love towards the English language. How can a language be so beautiful, and so complicated at the same time?



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